There is never a good time for your garage door to quit working, but winter can be especially disruptive. Frozen rollers or a broken spring can prevent you from getting your car out or, worse, leave you out in the cold. Unfortunately, as temperatures drop during these cold months, the metal parts of your garage door system contract, which can cause freezing, bending, and breaking.
The good news is there are solutions to the most common winter problems you will experience during a Northeast Ohio winter. You also can reduce the risk of a cold weather garage door problem by monitoring temperatures as well as the condition of your garage door. Garage door experts, such as those at Above & Beyond Door Systems, say you can avoid many emergencies by recognizing signs that your garage door could be vulnerable to wind, freezing temperatures and ice.
Be ready for common winter garage door issues.
The garage door freezes to the ground
It doesn’t take much freezing rain or melting snow that refreezes at the base of your garage door to cause this. Monitor weather conditions and if there is a chance your door is frozen, check it before trying to open it with a remote or button. If the door is frozen solid, the force of the door opener trying to open it could strip the gears or damage the motor.
- What you should do: Disengage the garage door opener and try to open the door manually. If you can’t break the ice by pulling you may try a hairdryer to melt the ice or gently tap the base of the door with a hammer to break it. Be sure to put a board between the hammer and the door panel.
- Prevent the issue: Check the threshold for uneven pavement or pooling water and correct this issue before it can freeze. Clear snow away from the base of the garage door before it can melt and refreeze. Make it a habit to open your garage door at least once each day even if you aren’t going anywhere.
Grease on the tracks and gears becomes thick
During the coldest days of the year, even grease will begin to freeze, becoming a thick jelly-like substance that begins to collect in blobs on the rollers and in the tracks. The lubricant that is designed to keep your garage door moving freely suddenly makes movement sluggish even stops it altogether. Don’t try to force the door through this thickened grease, as it could damage the motor or knock the door off the track.
- What you should do: Disengage your garage door opener and clear the tracks and rollers of the old grease using an old toothbrush. An appropriate solvent, such as disc brake cleaner, may help clear the hardened areas.
- Prevent the issue: Check the rollers and tracks for grease build up before cold weather hits and clear any excess. Use a silicone-based lubricant to keep gears moving smoothly all year.
Contracting metal parts
The first sign metal parts on your garage door are contracting is your door seems to have difficulty moving up and down. In the more severe cases, the tracks may bend and prevent the door from moving past that point. Springs and cables may also break as a result of the cold. Making repairs to these parts should left to the professionals.
- What you should do; Contact your professional garage door technician to assess the damage and make repairs to your garage door. Because of the extreme tension inherent in garage door operations, serious injury can result if repairs are not done properly.
- Prevent the issue: Keeping the interior of your garage warmer can limit the cold weather impact on metal parts of your garage door and opening system. Check the weatherstripping on the edges, bottom and between the sections of your garage door and replace old and brittle pieces to keep out as much wind and moisture as possible. You may also consider adding a heat source inside your garage.
Head off garage door emergencies by scheduling an inspection of your door and opening system before the coldest days of the year arrive. The experts at Above & Beyond will check your entire door and opener, replace worn parts, and lubricate metal parts to be sure your garage door is ready for winter. Call today to make your appointment.